Thursday, December 2, 2010

Chyawanprash: Is it really that good?

Eisha Sarkar
Posted on Hello Wellness on Dec 2 2010
 
Formulated by the sages many thousand years ago the antioxidant-rich Chyawanprash is the favourite Ayurvedic remedy for coughs, colds and digestive disorders. But is it really the key to all the problems that ail man?

The myth
Chyawanprash is named after great old sage called Chyawan. According to the legend, Chyawan married a very young and beautiful princess. But he soon realized that he would become a burden to her and sought help from the celestial physicians. They worked on an herbal preparation that made him young and strong again. Hence the herbal preparation was called Chyawanprash.

Herbal treasure
Chyawanprash consists of 47 ingredients out of which amla (Emblica officinalis) is the main ingredient. A rich source of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, polyphenols, lignins, bioflavonoids, riboflavin and containing 500 other organic biologically-active molecules derived from herbs and fruits, Chyawanprash is used as immunity booster, antioxidant and rejuvenator. It helps in conditions of: 
  • Cough
  • Asthma
  • Pulmonary tuberculosis
  • Renal conditions
  • Chest diseases
  • Gout
  • Excessive thirst
  • Urinary disorders
  • Disorders of the reproductive system
  • Nausea
  • Hyperacidity, flatulence and dyspepsia
It is also believed to purify blood and help the liver eliminate toxins from the body.

Traditionally, one tablespoon of this sweet-and-sour jam is mixed in cup of milk and taken once a day. It can also be taken on its own or spread on toast, bread or crackers.

Is it really that good?

In its classical form, chyawanprash is a mix of herbs, minerals, crystallized sugar and ghee with honey and is a potent tonic. However, most brands are now mass-produced and customised to cater to wider audiences. While popular brands like Dabur and Himalaya claim to use the original 2,500-year-old formula, Himani's Sona Chandi Chyawanprash contains particles of gold and silver as rejuvenators, though their benefits are yet to be proved scientifically.

Other versions of the tonic, like Alkem Laboratories's Jeevan Prash and Dabur India's Chyawan Prakash, use artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, a chlorinated version of sucrose that has been shown to shrink the thymus gland and enlarge kidneys and liver. Ranbaxy Laboratories’ sugar-free version of chyawanprash, called Chyawan Active contains sucralose and also sorbitol that adds bulk to the product. Sorbitol is slowly metabolised in the body and may aggravate irritable bowel syndrome and similar gastrointestinal conditions, resulting in severe abdominal pain.

On its own, Chyawanprash is as good as it gets. Check the bottle for the ingredients, especially artificial sweeteners before you buy one. Also consult your doctor if you are on any other medication.

1 comment:

Poornamsh Buch said...

Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati has mentioned in his book 'May I answer that?' that
"The Ayurvedic preparation “Chyavanaprash” is a wonderful one in enabling the regular user to preserve youth for a very long time."

Also i found out that it generates bodily heat so during this season you will feel less cold. also it is rejuvenating. if u consume it in the evening than u would remain comparatively more awake and attentive. it also helps in reducing specs numbers.